Parish looks at disbanding Sunset Drainage District board

Michelle Stuckey
April 01, 2011 at 9:08 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

The St. Charles Parish administration is considering the possibility of disbanding the Board of Commissioners for the Sunset Drainage District and giving the Parish Council governing authority over the district.

In an advertisement published in this week’s Herald-Guide, the parish announced its  intention to introduce a bill in the regular session of the Legislature applying for passage of an act authorizing the council to replace the board of the Sunset Drainage District.

Tim Vial, chief administrative officer for the parish, said that the advertisement is only a preliminary move and that no final decisions have been made.

“Basically the purpose of the notice would be to allow the parish an option to consolidate the operations of the Sunset Drainage District into the parish government,” Vial said.

He said that the issue has not been brought to the Parish Council yet. The goal of giving the Parish Council governing authority over the drainage district would ultimately be to have the Lafourche Levee District, which the parish is already in a contract with, take over maintenance of the Sunset district, Vial said.

“What we are looking at right now is to eventually have the Lafourche (Levee) District maintain the entire West Bank hurricane protection levee system,” he said.

Councilman Paul Hogan said he thinks the move could ultimately be a good decision, but that he expects to have a lot more discussion about the topic before any final conclusion is made.

“Whether it will be a good thing or bad thing is something we need to look into. The administration has promised that we will have numerous meetings and town hall meetings to discuss the potential transfer,” Hogan said. “In the end, it may be a good thing, but it’s something we need to discuss and look at all the implications first.”

Hogan said that no timeline has been put in place, but that he expects public discussions and meetings to begin in the next couple of months.

His one concern is that the current board, unlike the Lafourche Levee District, is made up of people who live in the Sunset Drainage District and care about it.

“Right now, the people running this district have a vested interest in making sure that things are done right…they live here,” Hogan said. “I want to make sure a group doesn’t come in here who doesn’t care.

“(The Lafourche Levee District) is a professional organization…I’m not saying they wouldn’t care, but I want to be sure.”

Hogan said that public opinion is another factor that needs to be looked into before any decisions are made.

“I want decisions to be made with the input of the public, of the people that live in the district,” he said.

View other articles written Michelle Stuckey

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